Musical instruments are, in my opinion, marvellous objects d’art. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of playing many of them over the years. Here, in chronological order, are the instruments I have ongoing devotion to.
Since 1986, I’ve been a drummer. I’m fond of playing other instruments and saying “Can’t play the blues on a drum”. Nevertheless, I’m frequently reminded that I am, in fact, a drummer. To me the art of drumming seems married to the art of dancing.
The old friend I think fondly of but rarely visit these days.. yet there is a longing for return.
I got my first electric guitar in 1990, I was 16 and she was a black 1985 Ibanez proline. I played that guitar every day for at least five years. Guitar heroes of mine are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Joe Satriani. I still have a fondness for that guitar and got another Ibanez to keep her company in 2006.
I prefer to call it that rather than the more common ‘Middle-Eastern percussion’ because, while I picked-up an Arabic tabla in Abu Dhabi in 1989, the romance really began when I started playing Greek music with the Rembetika Hipsters in 1996. (Mediterranean includes Greek, Egyptian, Turkish, & Persian influences.) – Belly-dance doumbek, – Turkish split-hand darbuka – riq, daf & other frame drums.
- Mystique for drummers
- Saw my first set on ‘Hilarious House of Frightenstein’, age 3
- Started playing in 2000, a few lessons from local Sikh temple
- Studied in Kerala, India for 5 weeks
- Got one in 2000
- Studied at U of C World Music Ensemble with Ali Mehraban
Oud (Arabic & Turkish)
- Got an Egyptian oud in 2002
- before YouTube
- got Sukar electric in 2005 (made in Aleppo, Syria in Ibrahim Sukar’s workshop that is presumably no more)
- My acoustic oud was made in the workshop of Haluk Eraydin (PBUH) in Istanbul.
- recordings (Desert Dub)
Cumbus (Turkish fretless banjo)
- Got one in 2005
Saz (Anatolian lute)
- Got one in 2010
Ukulele / Cavaquinho
- Got one in 2013
- Couldn’t resist the ukulele craze, but also useful in Samba
- My own creation